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We’ve had a remarkably high staff turnover this spring and summer. Are engineers migratory? Even though it’s been crazy busy at work, I needed to get some decluttering done. My weekend is totally booked, so tonight was a good time to go at it. I took this “before” picture of the garage. No.2 Sis and I put in some work on it last summer, and I got many of my first 27 boxes out of here when I started the blog in January. So it looked much worse before I took this photo tonight.

Before, sort of.

Before, sort of.

I was at least able to park Gypsy Blue in here before I turned the open space into a paint booth.

I just started pulling random boxes out and went through them. I filled 5 bags of recycling. I packed my large, recycling wheelie bin to the top! It’s embarrassing that there was that much useless paper and cardboard being saved. A lot of 10 year old magazines, clip art for collages and old journals. Dr. Ima Shrink says I should keep those journals to show how far I’ve come. I think tossing them shows how far I’ve come.

By the way, I also filled one box of donations and put it in Gypsy’s back seat for a Goodwill run. I was hoping to fill the back seat, but unless Goodwill wants my old journals….no, I couldn’t inflict those on the unsuspecting public.

Stay tuned…

P.S. While I said it’s been crazy busy at work, maybe I should’ve just said crazy. This afternoon I finished a 7 sheet drawing and then:

  • Sent it to (non-migratory) engineers for review.
  • Started a new drawing.
  • Noticed an error on just-finished drawing.
  • Fixed it. Wrong. Fixed it wrong.
  • Fixed it again.
  • Saved it.
  • Computer crashed during save.
  • Fix gone.
  • Fixed it again.
  • Computer crashed before save.
  • Fixed it again. Wrong. Fixed it wrong again.
  • Fixed it again, saving after each. And. Every. Command.
  • Computer crashed.
  • Fix was saved.
  • Relief.
  • Sent it to engineers again.
  • Went back to the new drawing I’d started.
  • It was gone. Just…gone.

Do you see why I get frustrated with my work? I know, I know. Quit complaining. Do something. Harumph!







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After a week of vacation and then a forty-plus hour week of work, I can really see how little I care for a forty-plus hour week of work. It doesn’t surprise me that I prefer a week’s vacation, but the depth of the sadness and anger that having to work causes does surprise me.

All week I had dreams, nightmares really, in which I cried and cried, or railed at injustice to the point of throwing chairs and breaking things. The biggest frustration of all was that everyone else in the dreams was totally unaffected, and just rolled their eyes and said, “Grow up, get over it”. So I either need to grow up and get over it, or I need to quit my job, sell my house, and live the life I am truly destined for. What is this mystical destiny? I have no idea.

I searched “destiny” on Pinterest and found this quote:

“Destiny is for losers. It’s just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.” -Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girls)

Hmmm. I don’t want to give too much credence to a line from “Gossip Girls”, but….

“The only person you are destined to become, is the person you decide to be.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

And then, there’s this:

“Stop complaining. Do something.” – Menina Lisboa


So I got off of my full and generous bottom and put the pork roast in the crockpot (I’ll make carnitas out of it). I cleaned out the fridge and washed all the Tater Tot hotdish containers. I put the heinous hotdish leftovers in bags in the freezer, to be disposed of tomorrow morning. I seasoned the vegetables and packed them into individual serving sizes. I hope to actually eat them, as opposed to letting them sit in the fridge until they liquefy.

I put on my painting clothes and put the table on the patio. Then I dragged the big pot to the middle of the garage floor. I sanded and painted the pot with 2 coats of lavender and 3 coats of turquoise. I used Valspar instead of Rustoleum, and I regret it. The pot will still need another coat. While I was in painting mode, I painted the garden ornament. 2 coats lavender, 2 coats cobalt (I have to get rid of that damn lavender).

Last year's tomatoes.

Last year’s tomatoes.

Refreshed pot.

Refreshed pot.

I laid out my clothes for the week, so I don’t have to make any early a.m. decisions. And by clothes I mean the shirt, pants,  sweater, plus undies, socks, shoes and accessories. NO early a.m. decisions!

It’s amazing how much less I’m worried about my destiny, and how much better I feel about my life.

“Stop complaining. Do something.” It’s a lesson I need to learn over and over and over.

Stay tuned…



Progress During My Stay-cation

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I just finished my “stay-cation” and now I can go back to work feeling rested and ready to tackle my next goal. Perfection. I don’t know why I think I can radically change my thoughts, habits and circumstances after a week off, but it hits me after every vacation. Just more of my delusions, I guess. I’ll bring that up with Dr. Ima Shrink. I’m sure she’ll have some insights.

I got a lot done during my week off. I finished one and a half jigsaw puzzles, read at least 4 novels, watched a few “Brooklyn 99″‘s (great show- check it out) and took oodles of naps.

I also joined No.2 Sis, No.4 Sis, No.5 Bro and his wife, and No. 9’s wife  “J” and daughter “L” for brunch on Thursday. We ate at Ze’s Diner, a red-and-white 50’s diner. Good food, good prices and good service. Check it out if you’re in the Twin Cities. My 3 year old niece, “L”, sang “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” for us after brunch. After an exuberant round of applause, she bowed and said, “Thank you very much. I’ll be here all week”. That got her another ovation.

On Friday we all got together, with the addition of a few more nieces and nephews, for an Independence Day potluck.  The only sibling missing was No.4 Sis, since she was hosting her husband’s family down on the farm. We took lots of pictures, because it’s rare for 8 out of the 9 of us to be together at the same time. I think it will become even more rare, as No.9 Bro and family have decided to move to Seattle come August 1st.

Projects, you ask? Ah, yes, I made some more progress on the patio project. No.2 Sis came over on Saturday, after I’d been off work for a week, and helped me sand and paint the patio table. We did find some rusted through pin holes, but all in all, I think the table has maintained structural integrity. We put six coats of paint on it in one day, and it looks marvelous. Now, I need to paint and plant a big pot, and hang the beautiful wind chimes that were a gift from a friend. I’m so, so close to having a finished project!!!

Sunday, my last day at home, I pulled together outfits for work and cooked for the week. I had a hankering for Tater Tot hotdish (casserole for you non-Minnesotans). I got a recipe from Pinterest, and it looked so good. I ate a serving for supper, and about an hour later found myself in some minor gastric discomfort. I brought some of the hotdish to work for lunch on Monday. I had the same gastric distress that afternoon. Damn. I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with it, besides being a food no one over the age of 10 should eat, but it has to be thrown away. Well, it has to go into the freezer until it can be thrown away on garbage day. I don’t want to draw vermin, especially vermin with gastric distress. I think it’s a little sad that I want a bigger freezer just so I can store my cooking debacles.

I’m pretty sure I won’t achieve perfection this week. Maybe next week.

Stay tuned…

Patio- Halfway There


It took 4 trips from the garage to the back of the house to populate the patio, and I’m hot and sweaty. That’s my exercise for the day. Oh wait, I still have to clean the house. Family coming over tomorrow morning.

The patio is halfway done. I’m still missing a table (not started) and some big pots. Here’s the halfway photos:

Half way there.

Halfway there.


No name elephant, later in the day.

No name elephant, later in the day.

The pillows, rug and lanterns came from Amazon. The teak elephant is old; I think she came from World Market.

Remember the before?

Patio, before.

Patio, before.

And remember the inspiration? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majorelle_Garden

Stay tuned…

P.S. It’s weird how writing this blog brings up childhood memories. My Dad was quite a handy man, and he poured a concrete patio outside my childhood home. If it was just up to my Dad, I’m sure it would have been a gray concrete slab. But my Mom had him put 12 x 12 squares on the diagonal. Each square was colored in one of a few shades of pink, and while the concrete was still wet, Mom, Dad, and each of the kids put their footprints in one of the squares.

It was like our own little Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Don’t know if you’ve ever been there, but Jane Powell had the smallest feet EVER. I’m surprised she could even stand upright, much less dance.

Mom also painted the picnic table to coordinate with the pink concrete. Each plank was pink, yellow, or red. Sounds garish, but I loved it. Maybe it was just because I was a kid, or maybe I’ve inherited Mom’s strange color sense. I miss that pink patio, but I’ll stick to the cobalt blue for now. 🙂